We each have our own line in the sand, green lifestyle changes we're not yet willing to make. Some people just aren't willing to give up their private jet, their mansion and their champagne. Others live in straw bale houses as part of a self-sufficient collective, and feel wracked with guilt because they just can't give up their South American coffee in exchange for home-grown roasted-dandelion-and-chicory-root-coffee-substitute (and who can blame them?)
Earlier in the week Beth left a comment on the Tetrapaks and the Environment post saying that she carries water everywhere in a canteen to avoid buying bottled water and drinks when she's out and about. It's a great idea, but my first reaction was "Oh, I couldn't be bothered doing that".
Why is that a step too far for me? It requires a degree of organisation, for a start. I'm still struggling to take reusable shopping bags with me when I go out, and sometimes forget. But I know from experience that it will become second nature eventually, I'm already much better at remembering than a month ago. Another reason against carrying water is that it's heavy! My handbag already weighs a ton (mostly because of all the rubbish in it). I don't fancy carrying a heavy canteen of water everywhere as well. But I think the main reason is that I really don't buy bottled drinks often at all. It's just once in a blue moon I realise I'm terribly thirsty when I'm out, and I'll buy a drink, maybe three or four times a year. Carrying a heavy canteen of water with me 365 days a year seems like quite a burden compared to the benefit.
But maybe I should drink more water. We're all told it's good for our health. If I carried water with me, perhaps I'd remember to drink more (if only to lighten the damn thing). I could also offer drinks to the kids. Maybe I rarely buy drinks for myself, but I buy them for the kids more often. Perhaps carrying water would result in a significant reduction in waste for our family overall.
What would make me start carrying water for sure? I suppose if someone bought me a nice canteen for Christmas (I'm not dropping hints by the way, just musing) I would make an effort to carry it for a while. If I found it worthwhile I would continue carrying it. I would also be motivated if someone in the family was diagnosed with a condition that made dehydration dangerous for them. And I'd be motivated if all the bottled drinks suddenly vanished from the shops, if they were banned for example, or if they became ten times more expensive.
So will I start carrying water everywhere with me? I don't know. What was more interesting to me was the process of analysing the first moment in which I was invited to take a step for the environment that felt like a step too far.
What is a step too far for you? Is there anything you've been asked to do for the planet that you just weren't willing to do? Is there anything you feel you should really do for the environment, and feel guilty that you don't? What would it take to make you change your mind?
Cartoon from Climate Cartoons. Click on the panel to make it bigger.